How Increasing Spending Counts As A Spending Cut

Here’s how to lose 5 pounds in a week the Washington D.C. way. First, set a goal to gain 10 pounds in a week. Let’s say, by the end of the week, you’ve only gained 5. Congratulations, you just lost 5 pounds in a week’s time.

Some people like to compare Washington’s spending cut claims to not going on lavish vacations. Here’s A. Barton Hinkle of Reason:

 “Plan a month-long vacation to Disneyland and budget $20,000 for the trip. Then don’t go. Presto! You just ‘cut’ your family budget by 20 grand.”

 No one would take a person seriously if he was claiming to lose weight or slash his budget by cutting proposed increases as in the above examples. These are absolutely absurd, but this is not at all an exaggeration when it comes to politicians in Washington claiming that they “cut” spending.

Recently, Obama proudly asserted that last year, he cut spending by $1 trillion. But during fiscal year 2011, spending went from $3.4 trillion to $3.6 trillion. I don’t know how they do math over in D.C., but here in America, going from 3.4 to 3.6 is an increase, not a decrease.

So, did he just lie? Well, that wouldn’t be surprising, but he’s probably referring to when he agreed in 2011 to cut proposed increases in spending.

Despite these multiple “cuts,” spending has still increased in the last 10 years. It was a $1.8 trillion in 2000, and it’s currently at $3.8 trillion. Here’s Reason again:

 “According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, using figures from the Congressional Budget Office, two years ago Washington expected to spend $4.26 trillion in 2015. Now the projections suggest Washington will spend $4.30 trillion in 2015. Either way, that’s an increase from the current $3.8 trillion. It’s the same story for 2020. After everything Congress and the president have agreed to, spending in 2020 is still projected to be $5.1 trillion—which is 34 percent more than we spent in 2012. So how can anyone claim to be cutting spending? Because two years ago, Washington had planned to spend $5.6 trillion in 2020. Since it now expects to spend less than that sum, that qualifies as a “cut,” at least in the no-trip-to-Disney sense.”

So, in 2010, Washington had projected that they would spend $5.6 trillion in 2020. Now, they’re projecting $5.1 trillion. Wow, they just “cut” half a trillion dollars in spending! Good for them.

And they claim that they want to bring a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction. In other words, having enough real spending cuts to balance out the tax increases. But they can’t even get that right. Their recent fiscal cliff deal is supposed to cut the deficit by $737 billion, 84% of which is from new tax revenue.

In Washington doublespeak, a spending cut occurs when the government increases spending less than what they projected. It’s completely absurd, but it’s what keeps people voting for them over and over again.



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  • Screeminmeeme

    Magical math........just what we need at a time like this when America is fighting for its economic life.

    Way to go Washington.


      Dont worry, at the end of the rainbow there is a bit pot full of trillion dollar coins to save us all!

      • MalikTous

        They're all Fae Gold, which turns to common pot metal or iron pyrite when taken away from the pot.

    • MalikTous

      Just like Klinton math when he shuffled money stolen from various projects and services around to show a fake surplus. What a liar!

  • fwiw

    Only in D.C. is a smaller increase considered a decrease. The Land of Oz is being run by the Lollipop Guild.

    • MalikTous

      The Lollipop Guild would do a better job; they already have enough math skills to sell confections!

  • COTom

    This 'new' math really purplexes me... wonder if the IRS will let me use the same method for my taxes?

    • Jack Parker

      Don't hold your breath.

  • MalikTous

    This isn't math. It's doublethink!

    • Phillip_in_TX

      More like "double stink!" These idiots are "playing games" while the people "get screwed."

      • MalikTous

        Read George orwell '1984' and learn a degraded English called newspeak. You'll find out what Minitrue, Minipax, and Miniplenty are and what prefixes like plus and doubleplus replace, and what a versificator produces. Winston Smith is a dissident in Oceania (USA and UK, mostly), one of three big political blocks who are either allied or enemy at any given time, and he's also one of the people responsible for revising history to turn the government into a perpetual water empire. Afterwards, you should know why I don't keep my webcamera plugged in unless I specifically want to use it and why I prefer lower-tech TV types that aren't two-way.

  • de

    I sort of got a couch that way except I paid for it, no lay a way no credit card cash. I had been told I needed a front end alignment for a car I had just purchased to take me to the job I just got. "How much will that cost?" "Oh at least a thousand." So back on the bus I went and SAVED till I had a thousand. Many months of sacrifice, the bus did not go to the job, just close. Took my hard earned UNSPENT $ back to the shop. $32 later I had a windfall in my savings, a car that was safely drivable a brand new couch love seat combination I thought I could never afford on my salary - a newly hired nurses aide.
    YES I did it as a twenty year old ---- CAN THE GOVERNMENT DO IT?

    • MalikTous

      You also earn a free song title. Look up Wall of Voodoo 'Pick it Up and Put It in your Pocket' a song describing the mess our economy is in.

  • Richard Holmes

    It is time we screwed over these bassturds in Washington.